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10-Week Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) Plan

Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) Plan

             You will be in for a rude shock if you still think combat fitness training is all about climbing hills with sandbags strapped to your back. Things changed since everyone else changed tune and started focusing on strength, stamina, and speed. The new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) is not for the faint-hearted. You don’t stand a chance unless you are well prepared for it. Before attending regular barracks training, you must prepare yourself physically and psychologically. Our 10-week AFCT plan is all you need to be on par with or even better than your comrades.

            We will not lie to you with empty motivation; ACFT is all about hard work; there is no shortcut. That is why we must always appreciate our armed forces; they put a lot of effort into their training and real-time combat operations. Surprisingly, army combat fitness tests last a little over half an hour. However, many intense exercises take place within that period. The test happens in 6 parts over 8 – 12 weeks. The pieces of training take place in no particular order.

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Army Combat Fitness Test Order of Events

Test 1: Trap Bar Deadlift 3-Rep Max

          The test usually competes with a hex bar, otherwise called a trap bar. Each trainee has 10 minutes to warm up on the deadlift before lifting it on a 3-prep max. The 10 minutes period allows you to increase the load and prepare to lift it. When the ACFT begins, you cannot raise the bar and drop it; you hold it there until the set is over. If you can’t reach the end, you have failed the test. You are also required to kiss the ground between reps. After about 5 minutes of doing the deadlift test, you will have about 2 minutes to catch your breath before moving to the next test.

Test 2: Standing Power Throw

               It involves throwing a medicine ball to a target behind you. You will start with a 10-lb. ball in hand. The next step is to perform a kettlebell swing before tossing the ball to a target. How far you throw the ball is a measure of your strength. Those who throw the ball the farthest have strong shoulders, glutes, and a powerful back. It also means their shoulder mobility is good. Usually, you are given one free throw for practice purposes, and then you take two official throws. They record your best distances to compare with those of other trainees.

Test 3: Hand Release Pushups

                ACFT pushups have no room for cheating. You are not allowed to do knee pushups or incomplete pushups. Without solid shoulders and a chest with stamina, there is little or no chance of you passing this test. Additionally, you must have the excellent shoulder mobility to perform this exercise. The procedure involves hitting the ground with the length of your body with every rep; you then jump up, lifting your hands off the ground. Pass the test without cheating, and you’re the next commando.

Test 4: Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC)

        The test is a 50-meter lap timed event performed by soldiers. They are supposed to run 25 meters in each direction.

  • Lap 1 - The soldier sprints down, touching the line at the other end with your hand. They then race back to the starting point and cross the line.
  • Lap 2 - After crossing the starting line, you grab the straps attached to a 90 lb. sled and pull them until the sled crosses the 25-meter line. You then pull it back to the crossing line and make sure it crosses.
  • Lap 3 - The soldier then stays crouched and does end-end side laterals. They should touch the 25-meter line with both hand and foot before they lateral back to the starting line, all this time facing the same direction.
  • Lap 4 - The soldier grabs two 40 lb. kettlebells, races with them to the 20-meter line, and touches it with their foot. They then run back and make sure they cross the starting line.
  • Lap 5 - In this final lap, the soldier sprints to the other end and back, ensuring they touch the 25-meter line with their hands and feet before running back to cross the starting line.

Test 5: Leg Tuck

         Test five is a leg training exercise where the soldier combines half pull-up and knees-elbows while hanging from a bar. This particular exercise is not for the unfit, and many soldiers have difficulty completing it. If your weight is a bit too much, and you do not have enough training, this exercise will stretch your limits. Make sure to shed any extra fat you may have to be able to pass this test. The leg tuck exercise typically depends on your core strength and a lot of experience with pull-ups.

          The soldier has two minutes to complete several leg tucks. They are supposed to complete as many rounds as possible within two minutes. However, there is a lower limit regarding how many legs tuck one can do. Strength, stamina, and speed are the most important things you need to complete as many leg folds as possible here.

Test 6: Two-Mile Run

            The sixth and last test of ACFT is a 2-mile run by the soldiers through a chosen route. While this test may appear most effortless, you’ll be too exhausted from the other five tests to make it a piece of cake. Only soldiers with unmatched strength and stamina will perform exceptionally in the 2-mile run. It is why all military runs happen after other forms of training to ensure the soldiers have the right energy for combat.

Essential Tips to Prepare for the Army Combat Fitness Test

           There is no big secret to passing the ACFT besides the regular fitness program. Here are a few tips to prevent you from getting it once you arrive at the training center.

Eat High-Protein Meals and Avoid Fat

           ACFT is about strength; you need the muscle to perform all exercises. Proteins help your body repair and recover after every workout. Additionally, it enables you to get leaner, which is very important for the leg tuck exercise. Even as you take high-protein foods, ensure they are low in fat. Too much fat will slow you down, and believe me, you wouldn’t want to come last in every test.

Must Read:: 5 Creative High Protein Meal – Prep Dishes to Save You Time

Do 3 – 5 Hours of Exercise a Day

            Although ACFT requires a minimum of 4 hours per week, you can do three, and you’re good to go. Consistency and commitment is the most critical aspect of this training. Keep going even when the going gets tough. You can find motivation from many things, including finding a lifting partner. Most importantly, set short-term but realistic goals for your training exercises. It will be much easier for you when the times come for actual hardcore ACFT events.

Choose Your Supplements Wisely

            Supplements are a double-edged sword; they can make or break you, as far as ACFT is concerned. Soldiers and other fitness enthusiasts fall short of optimal nutrition due to overdependence on protein supplements. The trick here is trying to maintain the balance. Furthermore, not all protein supplements are ideal for combat training, so you must supplement wisely. Focus on quality, not quantity.

Have Enough Rest

          Enough sleep helps your body recover and carry out self-repair. The recommended duration of a night’s sleep is eight hours. However, you can still have enough rest if you sleep for seven hours. Many people don’t know that sleep helps you eliminate extra fat. The energy your body needs to perform its physiological functions when resting comes from fat breakdown. For this reason, the longer one sleeps, the more one sheds extra fat.


            If you think these exercises are too much, think again because they are more comfortable than most bodybuilding and fitness exercises. However, each ACFT exercise should achieve a particular goal, and it does. A soldier’s motto is learning through pain and suffering because there is no learning in battle; it’s a matter of life and death. The best thing about ACFT is that soldiers are given enough warmup time before doing the official exercises. That should prepare you physically and psychologically for the task ahead.


            Additionally, there is a lot of motivation around you during the test from watching your comrades do them. ACFT may be exaggerated out here, only to find that things are a bit easier on the ground. Similarly, you may be overconfident, only to get shocked by the intensity of the exercises.

             You don’t have to be in the army to do ACFT exercises. Anyone can do it for their fitness and health development. Don’t be afraid to face the little pain and suffering every day because you build something better. Finally, for our men and women in uniform who put their life on the line every day to protect us from internal and external threats, we say thank you!


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